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The Top 7 Travel Trends to Consider in 2020

river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel

One of the best things about travel is it never fails to surprise you. From awe-inspiring views to better-than-you-ever imagined experiences, travel takes us to new places and creates unforgettable memories. As you make your 2020 travel plans, the latest trends offer a wide range of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and plenty of happy surprises. Take a look.

1. Slow it down.

In our fast-paced, multi-tasking world, more people are turning to what’s become known as “slow travel.” The main objective is spending more time in one place to better experience the culture and connect with locals. Another factor is the rise of “bleisure” (business plus leisure) travel and so-called “digital nomads” who can work from anywhere in the world. As a result, travelers are opting for longer stays and the chance to experience destinations like a native.

Cruise Dreams recommendation: Immerse yourself in local culture with a river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel. You’ll discover France’s Alsace region, the vineyards of the Rhine, and the gateway to the Black Forest.

2. Second is better.

Second city travel is all about choosing secondary cities as your primary destination. Also known as “under-tourism,” these types of trips focus on getting off the well-trod tourist paths to discover new and less-crowded places that still deliver the charm and cultural experiences travelers seek.

Cruise Dreams recommendation: We create and host Trips of a Lifetime filled with select destinations and experiences carefully curated to take you off the beaten path. One example? Our upcoming Trip of a Lifetime to Portugal includes time to explore Porto, Portugal’s second city, which gave its name to the country’s most famous export, Port wine.

expedition cruise to Alaska

3. Take a leap – literally.

Adventure travel continues to grow in popularity, fueled by the millennials’ desire for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Six in ten travelers rank experiences higher in value than material possessions. From biking through the European countryside or hiking on a glacier to spotting wildlife on an African safari or birdwatching in the Amazon, adventure trips focus on doing vs. simply seeing.

Cruise Dreams recommendation: Set sail on a luxury expedition cruise to discover remote destinations like Antarctica’s islands or the Alaskan wilderness.

4. Go back in time.

Sparked by the rise in genetic ancestry testing in recent years, ancestral or heritage-based tourism is poised to grow in 2020. Travelers are selecting destinations and building itineraries to help discover their roots and experience the cultures of their ancestors. The Shelburne Hotel in Dublin even has a Genealogy Butler who’s dedicated to helping visitors trace their Irish roots.

Cruise Dreams recommendation: A river cruise is a great way to explore your ancestral origins. Check out our custom-designed, hosted Trips of a Lifetime. Next November, set sail from Budapest to Prague, or plan ahead for our South African intensive voyage in early 2021.

5. Focus on family.

Family vacations are nothing new, of course. But multigenerational travel is expected to reach new heights in the year ahead. More families are vacationing with their adult children, and “Grand Getaways” for grandparents and grandchildren are growing in popularity. Plus, there’s a cross-trend element with many families looking to incorporate activity and adventure into their trips.

Cruise Dreams recommendation: Consider celebrating a milestone birthday or anniversary with your family on a cruise. Cruise lines are catering to the trend with amazing activities to fit all ages.

Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa

6. Plan a buddymoon.

Destination weddings are more on trend than ever due to millennials’ preference for experiences over tradition. As a result, these types of weddings have spawned a whole new type of group travel – the buddymoon. Newly married couples are opting to vacation with close friends and family in lieu of a honeymoon. And, before you think it’s not that common, check this out: 47 percent of millennials say they would be happy to bring family and friends along on their honeymoon.

Cruise Dreams recommendation: The new Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa offers the perfect locale to tie the knot. This adult-only, all-inclusive resort provides plenty of romance coupled with a range of dining options, bars, outdoor activities, and the largest infinity pool in the western Caribbean to keep your guests entertained. And your wedding on the beautiful beaches of St. Martin will be a memory to last a lifetime for you and your guests!

7. Be well.

One of the primary benefits of a vacation is its ability to take us away from our daily routines, helping us rest, relax, and reset. An enduring trend is wellness-focused travel that ranges from the traditional spa vacations to yoga or fitness retreats. Today, wellness amenities are well-integrated throughout hotels, resorts, cruise ships, and even airport lounges. To take wellness travel to the next level, travelers are combining their getaways with authentic local experiences, such as tai chi in China or saunas in Finland.

Cruise Dreams recommendation: When you embark on a river cruise, you set sail on an intimate ship that’s like a luxury hotel that travels with you. And you won’t forgo any wellness amenities. Today’s river cruise ships feature fully equipped fitness rooms, walking tracks, and even swimming pools. Indulge in the onboard spa, participate in group fitness classes, or borrow from the fleet of bicycles to take an up-close-and-personal tour of various ports along the way.

No matter what your 2020 travel goals are, Cruise Dreams is ready to help you design a Trip of a Lifetime. Call the Cruise Dreams team today at (877) 999-4533 or email us at for your individual, group, or incentive travel needs.

Waves to you and smooth sailings ahead!

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